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A weighty matter: Effects of adiposity on adult neurocognitive health / Brannon, Sarah P. A
Bib ID 7124122
Format MicroformMicroform, BookBook [text, microfiche]
Brannon, Sarah P. A., author
Description Ann Arbor : ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, 2013 
288 p. 
ISBN 9781303103476

However being overweight or obese in midlife was associated with cognitive decline and increased risk of dementia in later life. Study 2 examined the cross-sectional association between adiposity and cognitive function in a nationally representative sample of 4515 men and women, aged 20-59 years, who completed cognitive testing as part of the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination (NHANES-III). Global obesity and central obesity both predicted a small proportion of the variance on the Serial Digit Learning Task (SDLT) and the Simple Reaction Time Task (SRTT), but not the Symbol Digit Substitution Test (SDST). Frequent physical activity (PA) modified the association of SDLT and central obesity to the point that subjects who were obese or overweight but physically active showed cognitive performance similar to that of persons of normal weight. Study 3 involved a systematic literature review of the effects of weight loss interventions on adult cognitive function.

The existing evidence gives mixed results, but the majority of studies reported beneficial effects of weight loss on cognitive function, including memory. Study 4 compared the effects of 8 weeks of intermittent fasting (IF) with the effects of standard dietary restriction for weight loss, on the cognitive function and health of 26 obese adults. IF consisted of completely fasting one day and eating ad libitum the next. Although no effects on cognition were apparent at 8 weeks, at 6 months post-intervention, the IF group showed improved memory, BDNF and greater loss of trunk fat. Reduced trunk fat was associated with improved memory scores. Summary. Results are consistent with the hypotheses that obesity is associated with cognitive deficits that can be ameliorated by weight loss and/or IF. However further research is needed.

There is a growing body of evidence suggesting there are modifiable vascular and metabolic risk factors for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Despite many plausible mechanisms by which obesity could contribute, its etiological contributions remains unclear. We therefore investigated 1) the evidence linking obesity to cognitive health, 2) whether obesity in early or mid-life is associated with cognitive change and the possible factors involved, and 3) whether dietary interventions that reduce weight improve adult cognitive function. Study 1 involved a systematic literature review of the evidence linking adiposity to adult cognitive health outcomes. This revealed evidence that dementia was associated in older adults with low weight and separately with weight loss.


Advisors: Mary Coussons-Read Committee members: David Albeck; William Donahoo; Ronica Rooks.

Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 74-09(E), Section: B.


Subjects Public health.
Other authors/contributors University of Colorado at Denver. Health and Behavioral Sciences. degree granting institution


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